The Mavs and outspoken owner Mark Cuban are on record in stating they want to keep Harris, who averaged eight points, five assists, and two rebounds last season, but several media outlets are speculating the 10-year veteran could also be intrigued by the prospect of playing for coach Tom Thbodeau and on a roster that also features All-Stars like Rose and Joakim Noah and 2014 Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Taj Gibson.
D.J. Augustin and Kirk Hinrich both performed admirably filling in for Rose this season after he went down with a torn meniscus in his right knee just 10 games into the season, but Harris’ combination of shooting ability, size, and athleticism may be viewed even more favorably by management.
“You can’t lose sight of Derrick being back. That changes a lot of things, but you can never have enough shooting,” Thibodeau said of the Bulls’ potential roster moves. “That’s something we have to address.”
Meanwhile, word is Rose has vastly ramped up his workout regimen and is back to competing against NBA-level competition. “He’s right on schedule,” added Thibodeau. This is the next phase now. The rehab part went well. The non-contact stuff went well. So now this is the next step, which is good.”
Provided all continues to go well, Rose plans to compete for a spot on the USA Basketball squad that will partake in the FIBA World cup beginning in late July. By then, Rose and Harris could be teammates and the Bulls could again find themselves one of the Eastern Conference favorites with the start of training camp just weeks away.
The youngest MVP in league history, the 25-year-old Rose has played in just 49 regular season games since winning the award in 2010-11 on the strength of averaging 25 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.